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Tito moves: The Brap Pack define mid-life cool

by Rome Jorge

Too many middle-aged men getting too fat in the middle ruin motorsports by making up for diminished virility with high-octane horsepower: the burliest sports bikes and the sleekest of sports cars. Not these guys. It’s more than just toys for the big boys. They make making it to the big time look damn good and oh so authentic.

The Brap Pack, so named by actor Jericho Rosales for the sound the motorbike makes when the engine is throttled with the twistgrip (“brap, brap, braappp!”), is a motorcycle gang accurately described by their look: “rugged yet refined,” as director Sid Maderazo defines it.

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It could have all been so different. “ I originally proposed The Magic Unicorn Motor Club,” confesses  television host Paolo Abrera quite bitterly, admitting, “No takers. I was almost thrown out the group. My goal was that every time people saw glitter, they would think of us.”

Animal prints

Their clothes and gear reflect this ethos. Slim fit jeans—unassuming to the uneducated eye—purposely designed for motorbike riding with a kevlar and denim weave blend and knee panels for inserts for abrasion resistance as well as stretch panels for riding comfort. Underneath leather jackets by Roland Sands, Rev’It, and Belstaff, they wear Italian-made Dianese body armor. Hidden by a selection of Arai, Bell, Ruby, and Shoei helmets are Sena bluetooth communicators. Their footwear ranges from motorcycle-specific pairs from Alpinestars to work boots from Doc Marten’s, all of it in classic leather that only looks better with weathering and wear.

As a nod to their status as entrepreneurs and celebrity endorsers, the Brap Pack proudly wear shirts and caps by Kickstart Moto-wear, Abrera’s startup clothing line. Underneath their rugged leather riding boots, the gang hides outrageously-colored sport socks by Vamos, telecoms senior manager Javy Olives’ own business. Jericho Rosales fashionably dons rugged jackets, jeans, and shirts by Wrangler as the brand’s true wanderer and endorser. Maderazo wears bamboo-framed and ethically-handcrafted sunglasses by American brand Panda, which he retails and promotes locally. Some people are just brand conscious; these guys are the brand. They own the look in more ways than one. And then there’s director Odie Flores’ animal print undies. He actually gave us pictures of him riding his motorbike with nothing on except sunglasses, boots, chain necklace, and what seems to be fierce snow leopard print underwear. But that’s just him—most probably. Who knows?

And of course, there’s their motorbikes: Several of the latest iterations of the Italian-made Ducati Scrambler, a motorbike that blends European and American heritage as well as road and off-road capabilities, which traces its lineage to the first model in 1962. Maderazo’s German-made BMW R nineT retro-styled roadster purposely designed for mods and customization. Abrera’s Japanese-made Honda CB900F Hornet second generation roadster that boasts super bike pedigree from 1979 and sleek look worth of a road ninja. And there’s Flores’ odd Russian-made IMZ-Ural Solo 750cc Soviet era heavyweight motorcycle that sports a unique reverse gear (originally intended for sidecar riding). These are just some of the few dozen motorbikes that the Brap Pack owns, which includes a Harley Davidson, a Ducati Hypermotard, a Yamaha YZF R6, and several Honda Ruckus and Zoomers, and Piaggio Vespas. Nearly all are modified to reflect their personality as well as their need for performance.  For these guys, factory specs and styling—even from the likes of Ducati and BMW—are never good enough.

From their steads to their garb, everything they choose impeccably blends vintage styling with high tech performance.  After several laps at the flat track dirt course at the MX Messiah Fairgrounds, Cainta, Rizal with the rest of the Brap Pack, director Sid Maderazo explains, “The Brap Pack’s primary concern is always safety. We live by these sayings, ‘All the gear, all the time,’ and ‘Dress for the crash, not for the ride.’”

But mostly, it’s all because it’s tito approved.

TITs, dude

Tito—Spanish for “uncle” and euphemism for middle-aged, is not to be confused with hijo, Spanish for “son” and euphemism for young one. “We have the Moto-titos and the Moto-hijos,” reveals Rosales.  “And we call them the trainee titos, the Moto-hijos,” chimes Abrera. “Titos In Training (TITs),” adds television host Drew Arellano. “So these are TITs,” jokes Maderazo, pointing at Rosales’ chiseled chest.

“It’s not just bikes. if you actually go through our Whatsapp group thread, you’ll be entertained because there’s an expertise for everyone. Like for camera equipment, it’s them,” pointing to filmmakers Maderazo and Flores, explains Agoncillo. “If it’s shopping..,”  Rosales and Abrera both point to Arellano and agree. “When it comes to motorcycle customization, Paolo is the guy,” attests television host Ryan Agoncillo.

And then there’s the talk they have on their bluetooth helmet coms while riding. “What happens in the helmet stays in the helmet,” declares Arellano with a playful grin. “Ryan is our tour master—the human GPS. When you say South, Batangas, that’s his area. When we say East, it’s tour master Drew,” reveals Maderazo.

Bras and Panties

The constant banter online and bluetooth may account for what passes muster with the Brap Pack. But ultimately, it’s all wife-approved.

“One great thing about what happened with the group was that a new Whatsapp group was formed that included all our wives,” recounts Arellano. “It was called The Bras and Panties. Seriously, that’s the title of the group,” explains Maderazo.

Rosales’ better half is Kim Jones, Maderazo’s is Kat Delgado, Odie’s is Sunshine Flores, Aberera’s is Suzi Entrata, Agoncillo’s is Judy Ann Santos, Arellano’s is Iya Villania, and Olives’ is Hannah Romawac. That these women chose them for their spouses may be the greatest testament to these men.

The inclusion of their wives to the Brap Pack was not without repercussions. “We had to talk among ourselves. We could no longer ad-lib. Everyone knows everything. The wives now know,” confides Arellano. “Our stories had to check out. There was mild panic among the group,” confesses Abrera. The guys were afraid that their wives would find how much they were spending on motorbiking gear, nothing more. Really.

“We have to have our stories straight. “’How much did you say your bike was?’ They’ll cross-check it. ‘How many bikes do you have?’ They’ll cross check that. ‘Where were you last Saturday? We were together, right?’” explains Abrera innocently.

“One of the first advocacies we launched recently on Ig [Instagram] is The Motorcyclist’s Guide to Surviving Marriage,” jokes Agoncillo, soon after grilling for the guys a dozen or more mouth-watering quesadillas his wife packed for him. Arellano and Agoncillo attest, “It works.”

“Top tip number one: When you plan your route, think in advance where you can pasalubong [local delicacies or souvenirs] for the wife,” explains Agoncillo.

“Top tip number two: Plot your route. Stop over where you and your wife had your wedding and take a picture and caption, ‘Thinking of you,’” says Arellano. “’Wish you were here,’” suggests Rosales.

The ride

Ultimately, it’s not about the clothes. It’s not even about the bikes. It’s the ride. They guys got the moxie. They know how to ride. They even went to school for it.

“Every ride I think is an adventure. One of the highlights, was back in February. We did the California Superbike School in Clark. It was actually the first time that we grouped together in a long time. We stayed there for a few days,” recalls Arellano. Abrera adds, “We really bonded. We bunked in overnight.”

Riding these crotch rockets comes with maturity. Abrera confesses, “I think generally, motorcycles, it’s an ego machine. But the nice thing about everybody in the group is that we can all get along because we’re all over that already. They’re approaching tito-hood and we fully embraced it. We all work in sort of a similar fields. We all get each other, and, and there’s no need to pa-pogi [look good] all the time. There’s no need to race and be the fastest on the street all the time. It’s really just about us hanging out 

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